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AP English Literature » Syllabus
"Literature is the carrier of civilization. Without it- history is silent,
This Advanced Placement English course involves students in both the study and practice of advanced writing and the study of literature. They learn to use the characteristic modes of discourse and recognize the assumptions underlying various rhetorical strategies. Through speaking, listening, and reading, but chiefly through the experience of their own writing, students become more aware of the resources of language. Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition is not a survey course; it is, rather, a course to help students develop critical judgment and expressive skill. Students are encouraged to read analytically and sensitively a few carefully chosen high-quality selections, to develop persona/communicative styles, and to reflect with honesty and precision in the use of the language. The course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Examination in Literature and Composition, and also meets the requirements. Each college and university has its own advanced placement policy which dictates how AP grades are handled in allowing credit toward graduation and fulfilling graduation requirements.
Texts & Materials:
Literature. Longman by X.J. Kennedy and Dana Giola. 1999. 7th Ed.
Each unit of study will include supplemental texts of varying genre, authorial intent, and literary style.
This course will:
Grading & Evaluation:
Always remember, "your work is the presentation of your capability"- Van Goethe. There is no trickery in the grading process. You reap what you sow. This course has the potential to replace your university English Course. Senioritis will not be tolerated. As such, there will be times when it is extremely intense and overwhelming. Welcome to the life of academia!
Grades will be determined by the accumulation of points on weighted tasks built upon the course readings, writing processes, discussions, presentations, timed and take home essays, AP practice exams, accountability, thought provoking discussion participation, exams, and daily writing journals.
A 100-90% Student consistently exceeds course expectations and is ready for university level academic study.
B 90-80% Student consistently achieves mastery of assigned tasks and frequently exceeds course expectations.
C 79- 70% Students is approaching mastery of assigned tasks and consistently meets class expectations.
D 69- 60% Students shows growth towards mastering California Language Arts yet, inconsistently meets elevated course expectations.
F 59% -below Student does not meet class expectations.
The accumulated points will be weighted as follows:
Additionally, remember the following:
Daily writing journals will be evaluated periodically at random throughout the year. Your commitment to quality is essential to success in this course.
AP Collegeboard Writing Rubric: This is the rubric used by graders of the AP Literature exam essays in June as well as myself.. Read it carefully and review it frequently so that you become familiar with the criteria for each score. Review this rubric every time you are revising a timed writing essay or considering the score you earned on a timed writing. This rubric is instructive and relevant to your growth as an AP Lit student.
These well-focused and persuasive essays address the prompt directly and in a convincing manner. An essay scored a 9 demonstrates exceptional insight and language facility. An essay scored an 8 or a 9 combines adherence to the topic with excellent organization, content, insight, facile use of language, mastery of mechanics, and an understanding of the essential components of an effective essay. Literary devices and/or techniques are not merely listed, but the effect of those devices and/or techniques is addressed in context of the passage, poem, or novel as a whole. Although not without flaws, these essays are richly detailed and stylistically resourceful, and they connect the observations to the passage, poem, or novel as a whole. Descriptors that come to mind while reading this essay include: mastery, sophisticated, complex, specific, consistent, and well-supported.
If you work at this level, you have achieved critical thinking at the synthesis and evaluation levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. This means you put together the literary elements you have broken the piece into (through analysis), and present to your reader a sophisticated, critical understanding of the literature that indicates you have a clearly developed aesthetic or rhetorical sense regarding the piece. Your inferences are well-reasoned and thoroughly developed, demonstrating that you have been “moved” in some way by the piece and have a powerful response to it.
These highly competent essays comprehend the task set forth by the prompt and respond to it directly, although some of the analysis may be implicit rather than explicit. The 7 essay is in many ways a thinner version of the 9-8 paper in terms of discussion and supporting details, but it is still impressive, cogent, and generally convincing. It may also be less well-handled in terms of organization, insight, or vocabulary. Descriptors that come to mind while reading these essays include: demonstrates a clear understanding but is less precise and less well supported than a 9-8 paper. These essays demonstrate an adherence to the task, but deviate from course on occasion. The mechanics are sound, but may contain a few errors which may distract but do not obscure meaning. Although there may be a few minor misreadings, the inferences are for the most part accurate with no significant sustained misreadings. An essay that scores a 6 is an upper-half paper, but it may be deficient in one of the essentials mentioned above. It may be less mature in thought or less well-handled in terms of organization, syntax or mechanics. The analysis is somewhat more simplistic than found in a 7 essay, and lacks sustained, mature analysis.
If you work at this level, you have achieved critical thinking at the analysis level of Bloom’s taxonomy. This means you have broken the material down into its constituent literary parts and detected relationships of the parts and of the way they are organized. However, your inferences are not as insightful and well-developed as an 8 – 9 essay.
These essays may be overly simplistic in analysis, or rely almost exclusively on paraphrase rather than specific, textual examples. These essays may provide a plausible reading, but the analysis is implicit rather than explicit. These essays might provide a list of literary devices present in the literature, but make no effort to discuss the effect that these devices have on the poem, passage, or novel as a whole. Descriptors that come to mind when reading include: superficial, vague, and mechanical. The language is simplistic and the insight is limited or lacking in development.
If you work at this level, you have achieved comprehension of the material and some analysis, but your analysis is not sufficiently developed.
These lower-half essays compound the problems found in the 5 essay. They often demonstrate significant sustained misreadings, and provide little or no analysis. They maintain the general idea of the writing assignment, show some sense of organization, but are weak in content, maturity of thought, language facility, and/or mechanics. They may distort the topic or fail to deal adequately with one or more important aspects of the topic. Essays that are particularly poorly written may be scored a 3. Descriptors that come to mind while reading include: incomplete, oversimplified, meager, irrelevant, and insufficient.
If you work at this level, you have achieved comprehension of the material but you have not moved into higher level thinking skills. You are not making insightful, developed inferences through careful analysis of the text.
These essays make an attempt to deal with the topic but demonstrate serious weakness in content and coherence and/or syntax and mechanics. Often, they are unacceptably short. They are poorly written on several counts, including numerous distracting errors in mechanics, and/or little clarity, coherence, or supporting evidence. Wholly vacuous, inept, and mechanically unsound essays should be scored a 1.
If you work at this level, you do not adequately comprehend the piece assigned and have not yet begun to work cognitively with this piece of literature.
A zero is given to a response with no more than a passing reference to the task.
Class Rules & Regulations:
1. Remain Positive.
SDUSD Academic Honesty Policy:
The following are not tolerated at SCPA:
Yearly Course Outline:
Unit One: What is a Scholar? /AP Short Story Bootcamp
Context: Introduction to college level curriculum, AP College Board Exam, Successful Test-Taking, Time Management, Scaffolding of literary analysis concepts.
Concepts: Literary analysis terms, allusions, style analysis, test taking strategies, depth, complexity, acceleration, novelty. Blooms taxonomy, writing as a process, theme and thesis development.
Expectations/Evaluations: Diagnostic quizzes, close reading annotations, AP prompt annotations, application of Acronyms for analyses on multiple levels, student notes on AP test-taking strategies, literary terms, concept maps. Personal Essay for college entrance--Revision , Rewrite, and Peer Edit.
Texts: AP Prompts, Excerpts from Dillard, Updike, Alice Walker, Poe, Baldwin, Ellison, Hemingway, Shakespeare, Golding, and Steinbeck. Coelho’s The Alchemist
NOTE: Class discussions are integral in your analytic development and thusly affect your grade. Class discussions are based on glossing defining moments in the text AFTER you have read for understanding. We will work together on clarifications involving plot structure, character analysis, and literary technique. Close reading assignments and one page essays are designed to practice various aspects of literary analysis. One page essays force you to write, edit, revise, and rewrite strong, coherent, meaningful essays.
Unit Two: The Epic
"Fate saves the living when they drive away death by themselves!"
Context: Old English (Anglo-Saxon) Period, 455-1485 CE, Fall of Rome and barbarian tribes move into Europe. Angles, Saxons, and Jutes migrate to Britain, oral tradition.
Concepts: Historical perspective and social values, the epic, the epic hero, the epic villain, comitatus, oral tradition, religious infusion, epic poetry, Old English (Seamus), Middle English (Chaucer), Modern English (Shakespeare). compare- contrast matrices, close reading for device/ technique, writing as process, peer evaluation, writing edits and revisions: elevating your lingo, grammar, How to Score a 9, reading study guides, discussion, cinema, wryd, fate.
Expectations/ Evaluations: Compare/Contrast Essay on the epic and the mock epic. Text annotations, Quizzes, Exercises in vocabulary, syntax, and proofreading. Cinema compare and contrast.
Texts: Beowulf. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Gardner’s Grendel
Unit Three: Hamlet!
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t"
Context: Renaissance and Reformation, Elizabethan Theatre, the sonnet, historical perspective of the Dark ages into the Renaissance
Concepts: Aristotelian tragedy, advanced poetic structure, the stage, writing organization and grammar, tragic hero, tragic flaw, Machiavelli, monologues, soliloquies, asides, dialogue to define characterization, character influence on them, existentialism, fill yard's Great Chain of Being
Expectations/Evaluations: Readings and calibrations of student writing, peer evaluations and editing, close read, student presentations, comprehension quizzes, timed writing assignments, one page style essays. Short Form for chosen text of 3 x 1 assignment. Study guides. Discussion.
Texts: Hamlet by Shakespeare, excerpts from John Donne, Aristotle, Sewall and Bloom.
"Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason."
Context: Poetry demonstrating-advanced artistry with style and structure, poetic developments across literary period.
Concepts: TP-CASTT, style, structure, scansion, speaker, subject, tone, occasion, audience, compare/contrast, and theme.
Expectations/ Evaluations: Daily AP exam style poetry questions. Poetry Portfolio, timed writes. Full length poetry and prose AP exams. Peer edits and scoring. AP Rubric work.
Texts: Galway, Kinnell, Li- Young Lee, Billy Collins, Sharon Olds, Nikki Giovanni, Delgado, Donne, Angelou, Alcott, Hughes, Frost, Emerson, Whitman, Walker, Dickinson, and others.
Unit Four: Modern Literature
Context: Modern Period, Post modernism, Continental and American Existentialism, Jazz-Age.
Concepts: Magical Realism, Realism, avant-garde, free verse poetry, diverse plot structure analysis, the Absurd, complex plot charts, Surrealism, and angst, writing processes, clarification and coherence Strategies, procedural analysis.
Expectations/ Evaluations: One page style/critique/ compare & contrast essays. Socratic seminars. Literary Criticism Essay Project
Texts: Short Stories by Marquez, Chopin, Crane, Kafka, Camus. Poetry by Eliot, Frost, Plath, Sexton, Kinnell, Olds, Wright and others.
Enrichment: Voltaire: Candide
Unit Five: Inferno!
The leader and I by that hidden way
Entered to return to the bright world;
And without care for having any rest
We climbed up, he first and I second,
So far tat I saw some of the beautiful things
That heaven bears, through a round opening;
and thence we came forth to see again the stars.
(Oante's lnferno, CantoXXXIY 133-13.9)
Context: Medieval Period, 1200-1485 CE, Political and Religious Corruption, Seven Deadly Sins
Concepts: Fluency, insight, allusions and symbolism and how they illustrate author's purpose, allegories, fate and free will, technique and concepts, annotation and marginalia, in-depth analogies, ecclesiastical omnipresence, allusions, symbols, strong verbs and powerful images, seven deadly sins.
Expectations/ Evaluations: Student presentations, one page essays, Artistic representation of Dante's Hell. Allusion analysis assignment.
Texts: Dante's Inferno. Various supplemental texts and plays
Enrichment: Marlowe's Faust and McCarthy's The Road
Unit Six: Heart of Darkness
"The horror! The horror!"
Context: Imperialism, Congo, Ivory Trade, Colonialism, cultural exploitation, Victorian Ideals, Modernism, alienation, civilization vs. savagery
Concepts: frame narrative, colonialism, literary criticism, heroism, hypocrisy, absurdity, cultural critique, writing coherence, 7 minute AP prompt reading analysis.
Expectations/ Evaluations: Full length timed writing, quizzes on reading comprehension, study guide. Rigorous AP exampination preparations.
Texts: Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Kipling's "White Man's Burden, " Achebe's "Brown Man's Burden, " Eliot's "The Hollow Men."
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